Why Gratitude is the Secret to Getting Motivated
We all know how good it feels to be thanked for the things we do. Getting a thank you email from a friend is often enough to lift us up and energize us for the whole day. The irony in this magic formula is that it is actually the person doing the thanking that is getting the most out of this simple act. Being grateful changes how you feel about life.
Think of what you could do for yourself if you turned into a gratitude machine, pouring out your gratefulness 10 or 20 times a day. Now you might be thinking that sending out 20 thank you emails every day might be overkill. The thing is, it is not actually the physical sending of the thank you that generates the personal motivational jolt. This bump of energy comes from the self-reflective process and daily note taking about the people, activities, and situations for which you are grateful.
The Healing Power of Gratitude
3 Simple Ways to Practice Gratitude
Even though “counting your blessings” on a daily basis may sound simple enough, the power of it can escape us. We fail to capitalize on this free source of self-motivation and revitalized enthusiasm for life. To stay connected to your gratitude with these three simple things:
1. Make it a ritual
Set up a time to be by yourself. It could be as little as five to 15 minutes. Just enough time for you to pause and reflect about anything and everything in your life that you are grateful for. Do this by reflecting on daily activities, and then write down at least 10 things for which you are grateful. It can be as easy as a bullet point list. It will amaze you when you look back over your wealth of goodness, especially when you are having a bad day.
2. Be open to the truly amazing simple goodness in your life
The key here is to be open to even the small things in your world that make it a better place. You will be surprised at what shows up in your life. Take for instance, the smiles you exchange with family members, the water you drink, or the beautiful stroll you took in the park. Once you give yourself permission to take inventory of the (literally) hundreds of miracles that greet you daily, your energy for life can’t help but blossom.
3. Spread the word
Once you have had a chance to open the door to the energy of gratitude you can amplify it by sharing the idea with others. You will acknowledge small acts of generosity that fill your life, like being grateful for your partner for taking out the garbage. When you start sharing your gratitude daily you’ll experience more acts of kindness that are being directed your way. When this happens the miracle starts to explode and you see the energy of gratitude coming back from all corners of your life.
The hardest thing about tapping into this quiet secret of self-motivation is just getting started. Once you start using this powerful, energizing tool, you can lift yourself from the doldrums to a place of endless enthusiasm for life and boundless joy every day.
Yoga for Chance
The 8 Limbs of Yoga Explained
Yoga is more than the practice of asana, or physical postures. Living yoga means integrating the principles of yoga into your thoughts, words and actions; it means taking yoga beyond your mat. Learn more about living yoga and explore a variety of class option such as Tantrik Meditations, Yogic Paths and Injury, Inquiry and Insight to expand your practice.
The Eight Limbs of Yoga
The Eight Limbs of Yoga are core principles that serve as a compass for living a meaningful and purposeful life.
Yamas are ethical considerations to help guide interactions with others. There are five yamas:
- Nonviolence (Ahimsa)
- Truthfulness (Satya)
- Non-stealing (Asteya)
- Chastity and fidelity (Brahmacharya)
- Non-coveting (Aparigraha)
At first glance, these considerations mirror the basic morals taught in kindergarten, but have depth in their continued practice. Here are a few alternative versions to consider:
- Ahimsa: practice nonviolence in thought, word and deed; practice self-love
- Satya: tell the truth; opt for silence if your words may harm others
- Asteya: do not steal, even in non-material ways, such as withholding information or time
- Brahmacharya: use your energy wisely and with intention; avoid excess or overindulgence
- Aparigraha: you are enough and you have everything you need already
Please keep in mind that there are many interpretations of the Yamas and Niyamas; find the definitions best suited to your personal practice.
The Niyamas are practices that inform self-discipline and worldview. The maxims below generally reflect the essence of each Niyama:
- Saucha: “Leave a place cleaner than you found it” (cleanliness)
- Santosha: “Don’t worry, be happy” (contentment)
- Tapas: “When the going gets tough, the tough gets going” (willpower and self-discipline)
- Svadhyaya: “Learn from your mistakes” (study of self and sacred scriptures)
- Ishvara Pranidhana: “Have faith” (surrender to the divine)
Asana refers to the physical postures practiced in yoga. Derived from the root word as in Sanskrit, which means seat, asana is designed to prepare the body and mind for seated meditation. The term asana refers to the ancient yogic tradition of taking a seat close to your teacher. Beyond the physical, asana refers to an outlook that life is full of opportunities to learn, even through obstacles: find the teacher in all things.